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You can forget tax cuts this Budget
May, 15th 2009

The finance ministry on Thursday indicated to an industry delegation that it should not expect a further lowering of corporate, excise and service taxes in the Budget to be presented by the next finance minister.

"Revenue secretary Mr P V Bhide . . . indicated that no further relaxation in excise and service taxes could be possible at this juncture since the government has already addressed these issues," industry body Assocham said in New Delhi after its delegation participated in the pre-Budget consultations.

The United Progressive Alliance government had slashed excise duty by four percentage points across the board and service tax by two percentage points in stimulus packages of December and January to limit the impact of global downturn on the Indian economy.

Excise duty in the 8-10 per cent slab is levied on most industrial goods. The corporate tax rate is 30 per cent.

Bhide told the delegation that a roadmap for executing the Goods and Service Tax is being finalised by a team headed by the additional secretary in the revenue department, K Jose Cyriace.

Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman S S N Moorthy attended the meeting.

Bhide said that an inverted duty structure where customs duty on finished products is higher than raw material would be removed.

The UPA government tabled the Interim Budget in February and sought Parliament's approval to draw money from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet expenditure till July.

The chamber sought tax benefits for Indian firms in defence production.

It also demanded that the Software Technology Parks Scheme, due to lapse in March 2010, should be extended by another few years.

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